Updated: Jul 14, 2019
Wanneroo v West’s Scarborough at Kingsway 6th July 2019
1 Andre (Beets) Roux
2 Scott Cornell
3 Thomasi (TJ) Vunivalu
4 Hadley Swan
5 Brad Campbell
6 Seta Fano (Rob)
7 Teaute ‘T’ Walker
8 Mark Cornell
9 Corey Tearoea
10 Ethan Reilly
11 Kris Palmer
12 Andrew King (c)
13 Grayson Makara
14 Graham Hunter
15 Steve Nolson
Wanneroo’s hard work and dedication over this season was rewarded when they made it into the top echelon of WA Rugby after the cut last week. Today’s game is a golden opportunity to show that they belong there.
Unfortunately they are missing their dynamic duo flankers Olly Callan and John-Martin Stewart, along with Joe Bajjada who are all injured. Elliott Ferriman is also a non starter, having made his last appearance for the Dogs in the game against Cottesloe. But the good news is that Lock Brad Campbell has finally recovered from injury and returns to the premier grade team along with Hadley Swan in the second row.
The game started ominously for Wanneroo when prop TJ Vunivalu suffered a rib injury in the first two minutes and had to be replaced by Shaun Barling. The ref awarded a scrum feed to Wanneroo shortly afterwards. The many changes to the Dog’s pack obviously had an affect because West’s overpowered them and pushed them backwards. The Dogs were then penalised and West’s opened their account with an easy conversion.
Wanneroo 0 – West’s Scarborough 3
Wanneroo gradually settled and became a bit more competitive. The forwards took the play to West’s and were rewarded with a scrum on West’s 22, where they showed they had got their rhythm and cohesion back by winning it comfortably. The ball was passed out along the back line and things were looking good until West’s left winger took a simple intercept and raced away. He covered a good sixty metres and ran through two attempted tackles to score. The try was converted.
Wanneroo 0 – West’s Scarborough 10
West’s resumed with confidence and their backs were on the attack almost immediately. They moved the ball wide to their outside centre, who took it on supported by his winger. Their dangerous run was stopped by the Dogs, via some excellent communication between the defenders, who called out their man to each other, and then nailed them. Wanneroo then lost two consecutive line outs and were looking a bit jittery, but West’s failed to take advantage of their mistakes. The Dogs were awarded a penalty when the West’s half back tried to pick the ball from the back of a Wanneroo Scrum. Ethan kicked the conversion.
Wanneroo 3 – West’s Scarborough 10
Wanneroo tightened their game a bit and were beginning to match West’s in the open. Ethan had a probing run before feeding Brad a crash ball. Brad took a few of West’s body parts with him and planted a good ball for Beets to continue the carnage. West’s got caught for hands in the ruck and conceded a penalty about thirty metres out, but the conversion attempt went wide. The visitors grabbed the ball, raced to the 22 and took a quick tap and go, catching the Dogs on the hop. Their ball carrier made inroads through the middle of the park, until his break was stopped with a good tackle by Nolly.
The teams traded blows until Brad got the ball again and barged into West’s tackle line on the left of the pitch, and his forward cohorts swarmed over the ball. Ethan saw space on the right and quickly switched play to that side, enabling Nolly to have another go. He ran well and committed the defence before feeding Grason, who put the gas on, leaving West’s defenders in his wake to score out wide in the corner. Kris Palmer slotted the long and difficult kick straight through the sticks. The Dogs seemed to have got over their jitters and dragged themselves back into the game
Wanneroo 10 – West’s Scarborough 10
West’s took a scrum against the head and attacked up Wanneroo’s right wing, but Graham Hunter was waiting and tackled the ball carrier into touch. Wanneroo messed up their throw in, but managed to tidy up and retain possession. The ball was slipped to Graham, who kicked it long to relieve the pressure.
After a bit of to and fro play, West’s half back snaffled the ball from the base of a disrupted Wanneroo scrum and the ref penalised the Dogs. West’s chose the line out option and ran the resulting ball aggressively, before releasing their left winger. Luckily, he made a blue by knocking on and the Dogs got the scrum feed ten metres out from their own try line. Disaster struck when West’s took the scrum ball and spun it out to their right winger, who went over for a converted try.
Wanneroo 10 – West’s Scarborough 17
West’s were on the ascendency and the Dogs were struggling. Nolly made a scything break and took off up field where he was tip tackled by West’s No 7. He got 10 minutes in the bin and Wanneroo kicked for a line out. Brad gave the ball off the top to Teaute ‘T’ Walker who barged his way through West’s line out before setting a platform for the Dogs to attack from. The home side made some really big hits, driving West’s players backwards before popping the ball to Rob. He burrowed his way through the defenders and carried the ball right to the line, but got penalised for holding on. West’s kicked to Wanneroo’s 22 for the line out and used the resulting ball well, by sending it out fast to their left wing. He tried to penetrate, but Wanneroo was equal to the task on that side so West’s switched play to the other side. The defenders did a great job to get across and cover, but got pinged for offside and West’s kicked an easy three point penalty.
Wanneroo 10 – West’s Scarborough 20
The Roo Dogs forwards contested the drop out ball well, but the ref saw another offside and gave West’s a penalty kick. The visiting forwards used the line out to mount repeated attacks on the Dog’s try line. Wanneroo stopped four hit up’s, but couldn’t prevent the fifth and West’s scored another converted try just before the ref blew for half time.
Wanneroo 10 – West’s Scarborough 27
HALF TIME: Wanneroo 10 – Wests Scarborough 27
West’s restarted where they left off and took the game to Wanneroo aggressively. They carved up and made good inroads before Nolly and Ethan combined to stop them and force a knock on. Wanneroo got smoked in the scrum and Wests ran the turn over ball up their left wing before grubbering it into the Dogs goal area. Nolly managed to get back and drop on it to save a try, but it was only a temporary respite. Wanneroo was all at sea and West’s made the most of the disarray by catching the drop out ball and rampaging back into the Wanneroo 22. They did a couple of hit ups before moving the ball laterally, where they pulled a lovely little switch that created a hole in the defensive line. Their No 8 ran a good line to go through it and score. The try was converted.
Wanneroo 10 – Wests Scarborough 34
West’s were well and truly in the driving seat and it didn’t seem to matter how hard Wanneroo tried, they just couldn’t get it together. The home side gave another penalty away and compounded that mistake by being marched another ten for mouthing off at the ref. The Dogs gradually managed to compose themselves well enough to have a crack at West’s. Ethan gave Kingy a crash ball and he took it forward, backed up by Mark Cornell who continued the momentum. The ball was reset and Ethan popped it up for Beets and then Brad, whose size and impetus created a bit of space. Nolly and Graham then combined to take play up to the half way, where West’s stopped them, but only at the expense of conceding a penalty. Rob was replaced by Ben Stimson at this stage.
Wanneroo were plainly out of sorts. They contested the ball and had some good runs, but their play was fragmented and individual and their normally impregnable defensive structure had crumbled. Instead of closing the ball carriers down and taking space off them, they appeared to be waiting for the tackle, thus giving West’s the advantage. Not like the Roo Dogs at all.
Wests modified their game to a crash & bash style that sucked in the home defenders. Their right winger had a crack and when he got closed down he turned the ball back infield where a hole suddenly appeared in Wanneroo’s defensive line. West’s strolled through it for another seven pointer.
Wanneroo 10 – Wests Scarborough 41
The green pack chased Ethan’s drop out ball, forcing Wests to retreat back towards their own try line. Wests struggled to under the relentless pressure and eventually coughed the ball up. Ben Stimson grabbed it about five metres out and drove over the line for a try. The conversion missed.
Wanneroo 15 – Wests Scarborough 41
Ethan went off injured and Cory took his place. The Dog’s were awarded a bent arm penalty for a scrum offence and took a quick tap & go down their left wing. West’s managed to hold them, but the Dogs were awarded a scrum feed about fifteen metres out from West’s try line. Kingy got the ball and drove it into contact, but lost possession in the drive, giving West’s the scrum feed this time. The Wanneroo pack resumed normal service and shunted the visitor’s scrum backwards, forcing their half back into giving a poor pass to his centre, who then got caught in possession. The ref gave the scrum feed to West’s, who used it to make a break on the right before kicking to Graham Hunter. Graham fielded the ball easily and passed it to Nolly on the run. He tried a chip and chase, but miscued the kick and it went straight up in the air. Wests won the contest for possession enabling them to resume their attack. Wanneroo did well to stop at least seven or eight phases of play and eventually won a turn over ball that they kicked long to try and get out of their danger zone. West’s ran the ball back and scored out wide in the corner.
Wanneroo 15 – Wests Scarborough 48
Wests continued their demolition derby tactics and again pressured Wanneroo into kicking for touch. The visitor’s fly half was given the line out ball and took it to the gain line, before giving his prop a crash ball. He thundered on, with support from his pack and set a ruck. The ruck ball was popped to the hooker on the burst and he went over the try line directly under the posts for the final score of the day which was converted.
FINAL SCORE: Wanneroo 15 – Wests Scarborough 55
After last week’s sublime performance against Cottesloe, this was a totally unexpected and substandard performance by Wanneroo. They went from the penthouse to the outhouse in record time.
But even the best of teams have an off day that they can’t fix on the paddock. Hopefully, this is only one such day for the Roo Dogs.
When the unexpected or substandard happens, it’s not so much how you performed on the day. It’s about how well you can shrug off the negatives, rectify the mistakes and demonstrate your true value and worth in the following games.
Let’s not forget that this has been a year in which this Wanneroo squad has raised the bar. It’s been a year in which they have created some glory days, but they have also experienced some tough days. Days when they didn’t achieve the high bench marks they set for themselves. The best thing about them, and their coaching staff, is that they immediately put the time and effort in to identify and resolve their game day issues. I’ve got no doubt they've already started their analysis and will be well prepared and eager to face Uni next week.
Go the Roo Dogs.
Second Grade Wanneroo 24 – Wests Scarborough 48
Wanneroo had so many injuries and players unavailable on the day, that the second grade was reduced to seven players just before their game started.
To their great credit, the third grade players walked off the pitch after their game and filled the vacant slots in second grade.
The last minute disruption, inevitably, had it's effect and West’s were three tries up in no time at all. It looked for all money that a massacre was just around the corner. But incredibly the Dogs rag tag team slowly pulled themselves together and fought their way back into the game. They showed amazing spirit and attitude and refused to lie down and die. They threw themselves into the fray, contested every ball and didn’t willingly give an inch of ground away. Their unceasing efforts were rewarded with some excellent tries. But with half the team having just played a full game, it was inevitable that they would tire towards the end of this game. And tire they did. But not before giving a magnificent display of guts, heart and tenacity that rocked their opponents to the core. They went down, but they went down fighting like mongrel dogs and they deserve every accolade the club can give them. In reality, this was a moral victory for the underdogs.
Thirsty Thirds Wanneroo 46 - Wests Scarborough 14
I was fortunate in not having to write a report for this game because coach Paul Arnold sent me his own synopsis, which I’ve copied below.
Third grade came up against a stronger West Scarborough side than what they played only 4 weeks ago. With a few injury worries of our own and being able to promote some players from the 4th grade to help out this week, started the game uncharacteristically slow and on the back foot finding themselves 7 down within the first 10 minutes.
After addressing this under the post whilst West’s converted the first try. Bryce, Bones and co told the boys to step up. Thirds looked like they had put right the wrongs from the opening 10mins and scored 2 tries through the returning Carl Lawson. The conversions were narrowly missed by Thys. With a questionable decision by the referee Thirsty Thirds found themselves down to 14 with Gee being yellow carded for a contentious high tackle. Having seem to have turned the corner the bad habits reappeared with West’s cutting through and scoring another try under the posts. This was converted. Thirsty thirds found themselves in a position they haven’t been in this season and not for a great scrambled defence in the last minutes of the half finished off 14-10 down. After addressing the way we were playing and making some changes at half time with Choo Choo Larkin and the mighty Festa coming straight into the front row with the Horse assuming his position back in the midfield, we started to look more compact and confident with the ball in hand and sharper in the D. Having steadied the ship we ran in 6 unanswered tries with 3 being converted.
Carl Lawson finishing the game with 4 tries to his name and being named player of the day.
A great effort by all involved and especially the lads that stepped up from 4th grade this weekend.
Tries: Carl Lawson – 4, Sylvo Iro – 1, Choo Choo Larkin – 1, Bones – 1, Josh Richard - 1
Conversions: Thys – 3
Flatulent Fourths: Bye
Kalamunda Kweens 13 – Wanneroo Divas 21